Books: The Cheapest Vacation You Can Buy

{February 29, 2012}   {Review} The Baker’s Wife by Erin Healy

From Goodreads: Before Audrey was the baker’s wife, she was the pastor’s wife.

Then a scandalous lie cost her husband a pastoral career. Now the two work side-by-side running a bakery, serving coffee, and baking fresh bread. But the hurt still pulls at Audrey.

Driving early one morning to the bakery, Audrey’s car strikes something-or someone-at a fog-shrouded intersection. She finds a motor scooter belonging to a local teacher. Blood is everywhere, but there’s no trace of a body.

Both the scooter and the blood belong to detective Jack Mansfield’s wife, and he’s certain that Audrey is behind Julie’s disappearance.

But the case dead-ends and the detective spirals into madness. When he takes her family and some patrons hostage at the bakery, Audrey is left with a soul-damaged ex-con and a cynical teen to solve the mystery. And she’ll never manage that unless she taps into something she would rather leave behind-her excruciating ability to feel other’s pain.


This is a very interesting, very well written Christian fiction novel.  Truth be told, I normally won’t read Christian fiction because I find that it is usually extremely preachy, and I am not a fan of those types of books.  However, upon perusing the synopsis, I thought I’d give this book a go, and I’m very glad I did because Healy’s novel isn’t overtly preachy at all.  In fact, there’s even what some may call paranormal activity in that Audrey can physically feel people’s pain, but I think that may have more to do with God giving the faithful abilities to do his work rather than actual paranormal activity.  But, either way, it was a twist in the novel that, I’m not going to lie, I found a bit weird, but it didn’t overrun the novel and it’s placement made a lot more sense upon finishing the story, and it was in no way preachy.

This book deals more so with suspense than anything else.  While the Christian undertones are definitely there, I really felt like I was reading a mystery novel above all, and Healy does a phenomenal job drawing the reader into the story.  Set in a quiet community, Healy presents an intriguing story that looks into the hearts of its characters and presents a cautionary tale concerning religious overzealousness.  Jack Mansfield is what many refer to as a religious fanatic and, while some of the occurrences within the novel seem a little far-fetched, this is a great story that takes a hard look at people who take religious beliefs a bit too far, taking what they deem to be “God’s plans” into their own hands and acting out what they believe is His vengeance.  It’s a great social commentary on obsession and I really enjoyed it, especially because it’s very well written and readers can connect with the story.  I feel like we all know someone who takes their beliefs, whether religious, political, etc., to a level that makes them almost obsessive, and this was a great look into what life is life for those people and all those around them, and how dangerous it can become for all involved.  I also found that it sucked me right into the chaos as I attempted to figure out the truth concerning what really happened at the intersection and who was to blame, which made this an extremely fun read, even though it was a bit scary at times.  Four stars. 

Thomas Nelson has been extremely gracious in allowing me to read a copy of this novel via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.


bn100 says:

I enjoyed your review, especially about the Christian aspects of it and its affect on the book. Sounds like an interesting book.

I definitely want to give The Bakers Wife a read! I am normally not into Christian Books.I do not like preachy, overly religious stories. That’s just my opinion. I am NOT bashing the genre or ppl that love it.
This book sounds rather good actually. I am heading to NG to see if I can be approved for it.
Thomas Nelson publishers has sent me a few books to review for tours & I must say they put out a quality product.
TY for sharing this book with us.

I have heard really great things about this book, many of them very similar to what you say. While I’m a believer myself, I also tend to not read a lot of Christian fiction because not only is the overly-preachy quality of it off-putting at times, but it can be downright cheesy. I’m just being honest here. But I’ve heard that this one is very well put-together and is worth the read. My only hesitation is that it is a genre that I don’t typically read – a mystery suspense/thriller, correct?

I am pretty sure that I will eventually get around to reading it, probably as a library loan. I did not request it from NetGalley because I knew that I would keep putting it off and I didn’t want to abuse the privilege they grant me. I loved reading your thoughts on it and you have just further solidified that perhaps I should give The Baker’s Wife a chance. Maybe I’ll end up really enjoying this book and liking this genre more than I give myself credit for.

Great review.

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